As the weather shifts once again into chilly temperatures, anglers have a choice to make—pack up their rods and reels until spring or brave the frigid air and head out on the water. We’re here to tell you that winter weather isn’t scary enough to stand in the way of your favorite hobby! Read on to learn what you should know about fishing in the cold.
Picking the Spot
It doesn’t matter when you go fishing—if there aren’t active fish in the area, you’ll have a tough time. Your state’s Department of Natural Resources website will have the latest information on what fish are active in which lakes; this is the best place to start when picking a spot. This is also your opportunity to learn creel limits to follow when you fish.
Lures aren’t ideal when the weather gets colder because the fish will see right through them. In lower temperatures, fish (and the prey they like to eat) become slower in the water. When fish notice a lure moving quickly in the water, they’re more likely to be frightened than hungry. If you use live bait, the bait will wriggle at the speed the fish are expecting, and you stand a better chance of getting a bite.
Grab Your Gear
Reels that work well in the summer tend to seize up in cold weather. That’s because bearings can freeze, and oil can thicken. Bring your reel to a local repair shop and have them tune up the reel for the coming season if you aren’t sure how to do it yourself. On top of that, most people forget about sun protection in the winter months. Just because it isn’t hot doesn’t mean the sun can’t damage you! Make sure you bring a high-quality fishing hat to protect your skin from sun exposure.
Now that you understand what you should know about fishing in the cold, pick up some live bait and grab a buddy—you’ll have a cooler full of fish before you know it.